Crush as in soda pop

In one of my all-time favorite movies, Sixteen Candles, protagonist Samantha Baker’s dad(played with slice-of-life realness by Paul Dooley) states that romantic crushes hurt or they would have a different name. And yes, those crushes of adolescence and post-adolescence(which these days can stretch well into our thirties) can be crushing. Once in a while, you can have a crush that’s as saccharin sweet as an early New Edition song, cutesy like “Cool It Now.” No, I’m not talking about my kid, though my affection for her makes me feel giddy. I’m talking about that usually harmless infatuation, the celebrity crush.

Celebrity crushes can be about lust. We sigh over George Clooney’s Peter Pan whip appeal, growl over Brad Pitt’s golden boy beauty, think downright naughty thoughts when looking at Taye Diggs or Daddy Yankee. But celebrity crushes can also be a little more innocent. Maybe you have a soft spot for big lugs(like me), for geeks, or other unlikely Romeos. Celebrity crushes can be like carbonated drinks: sugary, fizzy, and fun.

I’ve had lots of unlikely celebrity crushes. Nate Dogg for being a big thug with a velvety voice. Mos Def for seeming like he’s witty and brainy. Don Cheadle for being an activist and a brilliant actor(I have his autograph in my book about Darfur!) And now, I’m digging Guy Fieri of Food Network fame. True, he’s built like my beloved Blues. But the similarities end there. While Blues spends his time watching warrior shows and tinkering with electronic equipment, Guy has his meaty hands full with his own Southwest cooking or taking in greasy spoon fare across the U.S. He’s my tall mug of root beer at the moment. Like the others before him, he brings a smile to my face.

Call me silly but it’s harmless fun.

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